Foot Anatomy
The human foot is a combined structure of base and lever, supporting and balancing the body’s weight while standing, as well as raising and moving the body forward when in motion. Our feet work for us the whole day, whether we stand, play, run, or walk, and in the process they become the most affected part of our anatomy.

Parts of the Foot
Bones
The foot is composed of 28 skeletal bones held together by muscles, ligaments and tendons.

These 28 bones are divided into three groups:
Phalanges: consists of fourteen bones in the toes
Metatarsus: consists of five slender bones located in the front of the instep
Tarsus: consists of seven bones that form the back of the foot

Top Tips for Feet

Al Khamis shoes is a one stop shoes shop in Oman. Al Khamis Shoes cares for its customers and provides following useful tips on feet.

· Feet are complex structures, which may reflect your general health and well-being. Symptoms such as persistent pain or soreness are warning signs. If, for example, you neglect a painful joint, it can deteriorate and become acutely painful. Then you may start walking badly to avoid the pain and that can lead to more serious postural problems.

· Wear footwear that supports the foot properly, reducing the chance of injury.

· Don’t wear the same shoes every day.

· Choose footwear made of natural materials to help your feet to breathe.

· Air trainers before and after exercise to prevent build up of bacteria.

· If you suffer from knee, hip or back pain, which has resisted treatment, consider visiting a state-registered chiropodist. Sometimes a small structural or functional imbalance in the foot may cause problems further up the body. What you wear on your feet can affect you further up your body.

· Change stockings or socks at least once a day. Choose socks containing at least 70 per cent cotton or wool. Some socks made from man-made fibres can help keep sweat away from the skin, keeping the skin dry and reducing odour.

· Choose footwear made from natural fibres to allow your feet to breathe such as Gore-Tex®.

· Calf stretches help to keep feet supple and keep a good range of movement. To stretch your calf and heel, stand facing a wall with feet hip width apart and slightly bent at the knee. Take one step forwards, and using your arms to lean against the wall, keep your leg in front bent and the leg behind straight. Both feet should be flat on the ground. Lean in towards the wall, as you do, you should feel your muscles stretching in your calf and heel. Hold and slowly return to a standing position. Do this with each leg about five times. Seek further help if you experience problems doing this exercise.

· Vary your heel heights from day to day, one-day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels.

· Vary shoe types.

· For everyday use, keep heel heights to about 4cm.

· Consider wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep rather than slip-ons. This will help stop your foot sliding forward, a bit like a seatbelt in a car.

· Diabetes can affect the feet. People suffering from diabetes may experience poor circulation and sensation in their feet. Even the smallest injury can lead to infection, which, if not treated promptly, may lead to serious complications. If you have diabetes, it is important to examine your feet daily. Anyone with diabetes should consult their podiatrist regularly and have a full annual review and assessment.

· To refresh feet, massage gently with a foot roller, or better still, ask you partner to massage your feet.

· Sitting with your feet up for 10 minutes after a long day helps circulation.

· Your feet can mirror your general health – conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, neurological and circulatory disorders may show initial symptoms in the feet.

· Circle your feet ten times in each direction, keeping your leg as still as possible.

· Consciously straighten your toes and wriggle them around.

· Raise, point, then curl your toes for five seconds each, repeated ten times – this is particularly good for toe cramps or hammer toes.

· Circle the alphabet with your feet. (A good exercise you can do while sitting at your desk in the office.)

· Visit a registered podiatrist/chiropodist for advice. To find one, click here. You can take your shoes with you for specific advice on footwear.

Which is the running shoe for you?

Most trainers fall into three broad categories, each built to protect the body from the demands of different activities. Make sure you choose the right one for your exercise programme.

Fitness Classes
If you keep fit by doing different classes choose a pair of aerobics shoes or boots which provide enough cushioning for either high or low-impact classes and are often high cut to provide ankle support.

Running
Running trainers are lightweight and more cushioned than others sports shoes. Since running is a sport that only requires you to move forward, much less support is needed at the sides of shoes, which is why the uppers are less sturdy.

Cross Training
If you do a range of sports or gym activities but not running, a pair of cross trainers is the best buy. They weigh more than running shoes and vary in the amount of shock they absorb but allow the foot to move in a range of forward backward, sideways and twisting directions.

At Work

The working foot has a lot of demands made on it, and in a normal working day can easily travel fifteen miles. Just standing still can also put a lot of strain on our feet, so we need to take proper care of them, to help prevent injury and keep them working.

There are a number of potential hazards at work which could lead to injury, such as oily or slippery floors, or machines which can crush or burn. Cold working areas like frozen food stores, or wet conditions, can bring additional problems like chilblains or athlete’s foot.

Working comfortably and safely

Just as a car needs attention and regular servicing, feet function efficiently only if they are looked after. Try following the SCP ‘Guide to Good Foot Health’ every day to help prevent problems occurring.

If the Shoe fits

Wearing the right shoe for the job can help prevent accidents and protect your feet and toes from injury.

If you work in heavy industry and have been given an official pair of safety shoes, wear them (they should bear the ‘Kitemark’ sign which means they meet British standards). Always wear hard-top shoes when operating grass-cutting equipment.

If you are on your feet a lot, you should wear well-fitting, comfortable walking shoes, with thick but flexible soles. Shoes should have a lace-up fastening that holds the heel in place and prevents the toes from sliding into the toe box of the shoe. There should be enough room at the top to allow the toes to move freely. Leather ‘uppers’ and man-made soles are a good combination. The shoe lining should be wrinkle-free and without rough or obtrusive stitching. If you work in wet conditions, you must wear waterproof footwear and socks which are thick enough to keep your feet warm, but not too tight to affect your circulation. Never wear loose fitting shoes that may slip on highly-polished surfaces.

Help at hand

For minor accidents at work, apply first aid straight away. Cuts should be cleaned and covered with a suitable dressing, and blisters should be left unopened and covered. Rest any sprains as much as possible. For advice about treating these or more serious injuries, see a registered chiropodist/podiatrist. He or she can also treat any problems that may have developed.

All about feet

Foot Anatomy
The human foot is a combined structure of base and lever, supporting and balancing the body’s weight while standing, as well as raising and moving the body forward when in motion. Our feet work for us the whole day, whether we stand, play, run, or walk, and in the process they become the most affected part of our anatomy.

Parts of the Foot

Bones
The foot is composed of 28 skeletal bones held together by muscles, ligaments and tendons.

These 28 bones are divided into three groups
Phalanges: consists of fourteen bones in the toes
Metatarsus: consists of five slender bones located in the front of the instep
Tarsus: consists of seven bones that form the back of the foot

Tendons
Tendons are strong inelastic “ropes” which attach the muscles to the bones. They keep the dynamic balance and shape of the foot.

Muscles
The foot has 32 muscles and tendons. Muscles of the foot and leg balance the body and control the levers. The muscles in the leg provide power for the foot and those in the foot itself are used mainly for balance and direction.

Ligaments
The foot has 109 ligaments that serve as hinges to keep the bones and joints together. They are bands of “ropes”. They are fibrous and strong but less elastic than muscles. Ligaments hold the bones together, particularly those of the arch by keeping it in a firm, unyielding curve when weight is placed upon it. They maintain the static form of the foot.

Arch
An arch is a series of bones forming a rigid, but curved structure held together by ligaments. When pressure or weight is applied to the arch the ends tend to spread apart, but the ligaments, which do not give away under the pressure, hold it firmly in place. The foot has 1 main arch along the inside of the foot and 3 lesser arches: the metatarsal arch across the ball of the foot, the outer long arch down the outside of the foot and a short arch under the rear of the foot.

Toes
Toes function to grip, clamping the feet to the walking surface. They give final propulsion as the foot completes a step, shifting weight to the other foot. Although the big toe carries part of the body weight with each step, no weight rests on the big toe as the body stands. The toes’ gripping tendency helps to maintain balance and aid propulsion.

Weight Distribution
Distribution of weight is concentrated upon six basic points of support provided by the bone framework. The heel bone takes about half the weight. Any abnormalities of the foot structure which upset the normal distribution of weight bearing will cause inconvenience and discomfort.

Development of the Foot

Growth of the Human Foot

The foot of a newborn child has only one bone. The rest of the foot is made up of cartilage. When a child reaches 3 years of age much of the cartilage has become bone and by age 6 all bones have taken shape but are still partly composed of cartilage.

The growth of the human foot comes in spurts. Studies show that during the first ten years of a child’s life the foot grows about one-half inch a year. Between the age of 10 and 20 the yearly growth rate slows down considerably, with maturity of growth arriving between the age of 19 and 20.

Be warned, even at a late stage of development, incorrect posture, poor walking and incorrect shoes can still destroy the joint alignment of the foot structure and the bones themselves.

General Foot Types

Normal/Neutral:
Normal or neutral feet tend to roll off the centre of the forefoot (front part of the foot). Any type of shoe is appropriate except shoes designed specifically for certain foot types or foot disorders.

High Arched or Rigid:
Limited range of motion and doesn’t absorb shock well. As a result they require shoes with maximum cushioning but no motion control properties because the feet need all the mobility they can get.

Supinated Feet:
Supinated feet roll off the outside of the forefoot. Supinated feet can get by with more forefoot cushioning and flexibility. You need more cushioning if your feet are often sore or have many blisters or calluses on the bottom.

Pronation:
Pronation is a motion which accentuates the normal action which occurs when the foot rolls from the outside of the heel to the inside, transferring weight forward from heel-strike to push off. There are many things built into a running shoe to decrease the side to side motion, or pronation. For example, a straight last increases heel stability. A substantial arch support prevents the foot from rolling to the inside during push off. In the sole, the firm fit of a heel cup (rigid portion at back of shoe that supports heel) can be constructed so that it absorbs shock.

Flat Feet:
Runners with flat feet generally ‘overpronate’ (accentuated pronation). They need excellent rearfoot (back of the foot) control. A straight last can offer more support. A firm midsole will help reduce the flat foot’s “natural” tendency to pronate.

Fitting tips

The right socks
When trying on shoes, make sure you are wearing the appropriate socks. For instance, if you are trying on boots that you would wear with heavy socks, don’t try them on with thin nylons.

The right time
The best time to try on shoes is usually at the end of the day, when your feet are most swollen. The point of waiting until the end of the day is to make sure that the footwear can fit you at your widest– kind of a “worst case scenario” check.

The right foot
The first shoe you try on should be for your larger foot. For most people, their larger foot is the opposite from the hand they write with. For example, if you’re right handed, your left foot might be bigger. Always fit the pair of shoes to this foot.

The first step
Stand up with your shoes on. Walk around. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the front of the shoe. For most footwear, your toes will be able to touch the top of the shoe, but there should be 3/8″ to 1/2″ of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Different styles can sometimes dictate a different amount of space at the end of the shoe for example ” pointed toe” style.

The right shoe
Don’t buy shoes that are too tight. If you’re at the point where you’re hoping they will stretch to be comfortable, they probably won’t. It’s true that soft leather and suede give slightly, moulding to your foot, but they will not dramatically increase in width or length. There’s a difference between a “snug”, comfortable fit and a “tight”, uncomfortable fit. A few laps in the store should help you decide how you feel.

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